Note: This post was not sponsored in any way, shape, or form. There are links provided to donate to charities, but I benefit in absolutely no way from your donations.
I’m posting today to talk about an issue that really hit hard for me: the Yemen Crisis. I couldn’t believe that there were millions of people suffering and starving, and no one was doing anything about it. The media was not reporting it, people were not talking about it, and yet every day, their struggles continue. The first time I heard about the Yemen Crisis, I had no idea what to make of it. Why is their country so war-torn? Who is fighting this war? Why are the civilians involved? Why is the war causing a famine? How can I, a Canadian woman, help? These are all questions I asked myself, and questions that I want to help you answer. As someone who lives a relatively privileged life, the least I can do is spread awareness. We all have a part to play in helping people who are struggling. Let’s talk about what’s happening in Yemen, why it’s happening, and what you can do to help!
Where is Yemen?
Yemen is a country in the Arabian Peninsula, bordered by Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea. You can see Yemen outlined in red in the map below. The Arabian Peninsula is located in Western Asia. Historically, Yemen was much larger than it is now, but throughout time, Yemen evolved into the country that exists today.
What is the Yemen Crisis?
Right now, the people of Yemen are facing many struggles because their country is being torn apart by a civil war. Their health, food security, livelihoods, political stability, and even their lives are being taken away by war and civilians are dying.
Why is there a war?
This one is a little bit complicated to explain, so I’ll let someone else get into the nitty gritty. Below is a video that explains why Yemen is at war and how the war is affecting the people of Yemen. I found it to have great visuals that help explain the war and all its sides. Understanding why Yemen is facing a crisis is a big way to help, because it makes it easier to educate others and it helps us understand where their struggles are coming from. I found this video super helpful, and I found many others on YouTube and on news sites that helped explain to me what exactly is going on overseas. There are many accounts of the crisis in Yemen, and I encourage everyone to explore it more to truly understand what is happening. News reports, videos, documentaries, aid organizations, and others are all great ways to learn about the political conflict and civil war in Yemen. This video is a great place to start.
Why is there a crisis?
Time and time again, we see civilians carry the burden of war.
This civil war is causing people to flee their homes, civilians are being struck by military fire, there is a severe lack of medical resources, as well as food, and other essential supplies. Because of the war and violence, it is becoming difficult for food, supplies, and aid to cross the border into their country. This is causing the Yemeni people to go without meals, access to clean drinking water, or any medical care for days on end, sometimes longer. People are dying at an alarming rate. More than 80% of Yemeni people live below the poverty line. Children are having to leave school to work and fend for their family. To add to economic ruin, there are numerous natural disasters affecting Yemen as well, including floods and infestations of desert locusts.
Why is there a famine, and how is it affecting the Yemeni people?
As mentioned above, due to the war and destruction, it is extremely difficult for food, clean water, and medical supplies to enter the country. It is said that two thirds of Yemeni people do not know where their next meal will come from. Amidst starvation and war, the people of Yemen are also facing a Cholera outbreak, and some say the COVID-19 pandemic could “delete Yemen from maps all over the world.” While a well-fed, healthy person may survive an infection or illness, many malnourished people, especially children, are not able to fight off disease. Their undernourishment is causing their immune systems to break down and they are more susceptible to illness and more likely to experience severe symptoms and even death. On top of it all, hospitals do not have access to proper medication and treatment for people who are suffering. So many hospitals are operating with limited staff, at full occupancy, and without the resources to help those who need it. Many organizations are bringing help, but they can only do so much. The war has caused economic devastation, so many people cannot afford food. Many food production plants are being destroyed by bombs, making it difficult for food to be produced from within the country, as well.
What can you do?
As people who are living privileged lives, there is a lot we can do to help.
First, educate yourself. Education is key to helping. What I have put in my article is just the tip of the iceberg. I highly encourage everyone to watch videos, read articles, watch news reports, and learn as much as you can. There is no way to help people in a crisis without learning why it’s happening. This has been deemed to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. With 2020 bringing us a global pandemic, murder hornet infestations, and high levels of police brutality, this is saying something. So many people do not know what is happening on the other side of the globe, and we need to learn so we can spread the word and teach others. I highly encourage everyone to do as much research as possible. There are so many video accounts of what is happening in Yemen, as well as videos that explain things more thoroughly than I ever could, and articles upon articles detailing every development of the situation in Yemen. Read, watch, listen, and learn everything you can.
On that note, the most important thing you can do it spread the word. Media outlets are failing to report on the crisis in Yemen, so it’s up to us to share, share, share! I only found out about this crisis a few short months ago, and there are still so many people who have no idea what is happening. The crisis in Yemen has been going on for years! I don’t claim to know it all, but I felt I had a way to make the issue known to others, and I felt I could share ways to access the information of the people who do know. The more people who know, the more we can do to help. Share this post, or share articles, or videos. Let people know that we won’t stand for the injustice that the Yemeni people are facing.
If you’re able to, donate to organizations that are on the front lines helping. Organizations like UNICEF, Oxfam, and Doctors Without Borders all have teams who are helping as much as they can. By donating to these organizations, you’re donating food, medical supplies, health care, and more.
For more information, and other organizations to donate to, check out the links below:
- Express Article about what is happening and where you can donate.
- UN Refugee Agency donation link.
- Canadian Red Cross Yemen donation link.
- All the latest on the Yemen Crisis from United Nations news.
- “What is happening in Yemen?” from the British Red Cross.
- UNICEF page about the Yemen Crisis.
I hope that you learned something today. The people of Yemen have been in my thoughts since I learned about the crisis, and I want them to be in your thoughts too. If you can’t donate, please spread the word and educate yourself. Share this post, or share some of the pages I linked above. Before you spend $5 on a coffee or a sandwich, consider if you could save that money and put it toward something more meaningful, such as a donation to those in need. If you have a friend who is very socially aware, and you need to get them a gift, make a donation in their name to one of the organizations above. There are so many ways that we can help. We all have a part to play, and we can all help.
Stay curious, friends.